Bulgaria's Zhelev Mourns Fellow Dissident Vaclav Havel's Death

Diplomacy | December 18, 2011, Sunday // 14:28|  views

Former Czech president Vaclav Havel (L) and former Bulgarian president Zhelju Zhelev (R) attend a conference entitled 'Solidarity and the Fall of Communism' in Gdansk, Poland, 04 June 2009. EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's first democratically elected President Zhelyu Zhelev has mourned the death of his fellow anti-communist dissident, former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

One of the most famous anti-communist dissidents in Eastern Europe and former President of Czechslovakia and the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel passed away Sunday at the age of 75.

"I have just lost a person that is very, very dear to me. After we were no longer presidents, we've met at least 20 times at international forums. We were brought together by our common view of a peaceful transition but also by our interests in philosophy, culture, arts," Zhelev said in his blitz comment Sunday.

Zhelev has made it clear it clear that he intended to attend Vaclav Havel's funeral.

Not unlike the playwright Havel's criticism of the communist regime, Zhelev, a philosopher, has also exposed communist in his books.

Later, after the break-up of the Communist Bloc in Eastern Europe, Zhelev was the President of Bulgaria in 1991-1997, and Havel was the President of Czechoslovakia in 1989-1992, and of the Czech Republic in 1993-2003.

During their terms in office they formally met twice as Presidents of Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia – Zhelev was in Prague in 1991, and Havel was in Sofia in 1992.

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Tags: 1968, Prague Spring, Warsaw Pact, Eastern Europe, communist, dissident, Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, Charter 77, communism, anti-communism, Czech President, Zhelyu Zhelev, Bulgarian President, 1991, 1992


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